Nurses are 'forced to be escorts' on long trips

This picture is being used for illustrative purposes only.
This picture is being used for illustrative purposes only.
Image: 123RF/ Andriy Popov

Nurses at a hospital in Mpumalanga claim they are being forced to transport
patients for long distances on a bus with no First Aid kits or oxygen.

The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union, which represents the nurses, has accused the provincial health department of cutting costs and placing the lives of patients at risk.

The union's president Lerato Madumo-Gova said: "Nurses are not patient
escorts, the role of nurses is at the patients' bedside and at clinics.

"Their work is within the perimeters of the facility."

She said nurses were not trained to handle roadside emergencies and the department had been warned about it but it had persisted.

A nurse from the hospital who asked not to be named said people were forced to accompany a busload of sick patients with no proper support.

"There was nothing on that bus, not even a First Aid kit or oxygen machine. If a patient collapses you can't help them," she said.

She said they had complained but nothing was being done to change the situation.

"These people continue to abuse nurses," the nurse said.

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